Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday Must Reads: Fracking Ban Moves Forward in State Legislature; Kaplan Calls for No-Layoff Guarantee for Oakland Police

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A state Senate committee approved a bill that would place a moratorium on fracking in California until regulators finish examining the impacts of the controversial oil and gas-extraction method, the LA Times$ reports. However, the future of the bill — SB 1132 — remains in doubt because some moderate Democrats abstained from voting on it and the Natural Resources and Water Committee only passed it with a bare minimum of five votes. Moderate Dems say they fear that a fracking ban could hurt California’s economy.

Rebecca Kaplan.
  • Rebecca Kaplan.
2. Oakland Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan is calling for a no-layoff guarantee for city police officers — if the city council decides to ask voters to reauthorize Measure Y this November, SFGate reports. Kaplan opposed the council’s decision in 2010 to lay off 80 officers — positions that have not been refilled. Kaplan, who has not yet said whether she will enter the mayor’s race despite the fact that she has a lead in the polls, also called for protecting funds for violence prevention programs.

3. Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob is still interested in buying the Oakland A’s and keeping the team in Oakland — although the A’s current owners still say they have no intention of selling, the Mercury News$ reports. Lacob also is bullish on a plan to build a new A’s ballpark near Jack London Square, telling the Merc that he believes that a stadium at Howard Terminal, along the city’s waterfront, could have “a potentially revolutionary impact” on the city of Oakland.

4. California Republicans are continuing to marginalize themselves by moving farther to the right. Bay Area News Group$ reports that Tea Party favorite Tim Donnelly is pummeling Republican moderate Neel Kashkari in this year’s governor’s race, according to a new Field Poll. And Governor Jerry Brown has huge lead on Donnelly.

5. And the state legislature decided to table until 2015 a proposal to ban amusement parks from keeping orcas, and is asking for further study on the issue, the LA Times$ reports. SeaWorld in San Diego strongly opposed the plan.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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